If you’ve never experienced a Montclaire String Quartet concert, you’re missing out. While the fullness and power of a large orchestra can be very impactful, the intimacy and high level of communication between a chamber group can be so lovely to watch and hear. Performing in the Erma Byrd Art Gallery at the University of Charleston overlooking the state capitol, beautiful music topped with beautiful scenery just can’t be beat.
The Montclaire String Quartet’s 16/17 season begins on Sunday, September 11th and they’re “Going Fishing”! Not literally of course, but two of the pieces have the nicknames The Hunt and The Trout that deems “Going Fishing” appropriate.
First on the program is Mozart’s String Quartet No. 17 (The Hunt) that is part of the 6 string quartets he composted dedicated to friend and fellow composer Joseph Haydn. The 6 quartets were begun in 1782 and were completed over the next four years. The fourth quartet in this set is The Hunt, named after the hunting-horn-like call of its opening 6/8 theme. The jolly first movement leads into the somewhat more serious, yet dance-like second movement, and is followed by what is most arguably the most intense movement in all of the six quartets. The final movement is like rapid-fire, in folksy charm.
Frolov is a composer with a personal connection to MSQ. Anton Shelepov, the WVSO concertmaster has worked with Frovlov and this piece is a special arrangement for the ensemble. It’s similar in spirit, with a unique fusion of baroque and jazz.
Closing out the program will be Schubert’s Trout piano quintet with special guests Victoria Fatu, piano, and Hannah Pressley, double bass joining Montclaire. It is described as reflective of the young 22-year-old composer in his surroundings: summertime vacation in the countryside for a man who had spent his entire life in the city. The summer was filled with outings, music parties, and impromptu concerts, and Schubert was buoyant. His sunny, out-of-doors leisure is audible throughout the work. The "Trout" Quintet, like much of Schubert's music, was never published until after his death.
Tickets to the event are $12 and can be purchased at the door, or by calling the WVSO offices at 304.957.9876.